2012 School Census Report

Lunch participation continues to oupace breakfast counts.

FoodService Director’s 2011 School District Census is a snapshot of the K-12 school market, based on information from the 2010-2011 school year, supplied by 50 large, medium and small districts.

Census Highlights

  •  Of the 50 schools in our survey, 48 operate their own foodservice programs, and two contract out the service. The average size of a district in our survey is 85 schools and 47,227 students.

 Buying Locally

  • Food cost for lunch, including commodities, averaged $1.62 among the surveyed schools, equal to last year’s figure. Similarly, the average food cost for breakfast remained at 89 cents. However, schools spent an average of 55 cents on after-school snacks, up from 47 cents last year.

 Money

  • On average, 55% of the students attending the schools in the census qualify for either free or reduced-price meals.

 What schools offer

  • 38% of the districts in the census—10 percentage points lower than those in last year’s census—said they operate a summer feeding program, and the number of meals served in the average district was only 5,511, roughly one-third of last year’s figure.
  •  80% of the districts surveyed say they offer vending, but in only 38% of those schools does the foodservice department have full or partial control over vending.

 Participation

  • Of the districts offering breakfast, only 28% offer breakfast in the classroom to elementary students, 7% to middle school students and 7% to high school students. Among those respondents, on average 15% of the breakfasts served to elementary students, 5% to middle school students and 5% to high school students are eaten in a classroom.

 Breaking down the dayparts

  • 86% of districts surveyed say they offer students a cashless payment option. In those districts, an average of 59% of meals are purchased using this option.
Download: 
PDF icon 2012-School-Census-Report.pdf

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Noncommercial foodservice operations and other employers would be spared from costly new overtime pay regulations if 21 states succeed in the legal challenge they jointly filed yesterday.

The lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to set aside the rules, which are scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1.

If the court rejects the request, restaurants and other businesses will be required after that date to pay overtime to any salaried employee who works more than 40 hours in a week and earns less than $47,476 on an annual basis.

The...

Industry News & Opinion

The new unpaid-balance policy at Canon-McMillan School District in Pittsburgh is making waves after a former cafeteria worker sounded off about the practice on social media.

Stacy Koltiska said she quit her job with the district after being forced to take hot meals away from students who owed lunch money, CBS News reports .

Under a new policy that was implemented at Canon-McMillan this year, students whose lunch debt exceeds $25 are not allowed to receive a hot lunch. Children in grades K-6 are given a sandwich in its place, and older students receive no lunch. A recent...

Industry News & Opinion

Due to low participation in its lunch program, Talawanda School District in Oxford, Ohio, is raising the price of school meals this year, Patch.com reports .

The cost of school lunches will see a 30-cent increase, half of which is being enacted to cover the district’s budget. The other half is being required by the government to cover the cost of free and reduced-price lunches provided to low-income families. Prior to this year, the district had not raised prices since 2009.

The district’s cafeterias have experienced a decline in student participation since implementing the...

Industry News & Opinion

Six Philadelphia hospitals were honored by the city’s department of public health for healthy food initiatives introduced as part of the local Good Food, Healthy Hospitals program, bizjournals.com reports .

The hospitals each debuted healthy measures to their dining services, such as lowering the cost of water bottles and seltzers, and offering dishes that incorporate local produce. One hospital was also honored for operating its own organic farm.

The facilities that were honored were:

Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Eastern...

FSD Resources